Having more than one wife or more than one husband.


In 2006, proposals to permit polygamy in order to reverse a declining population have raised a heated debate in Russia between Muslims who support it and Christian groups that oppose it. The demands for permission for polygamy are particularly strong in the Muslim-dominated republic of Chechnya where there are 25 percent more women than men because of the war. The introduction of polygamy may not require specific new law but needs to be permitted in principle. At present, state support is difficult for families of any polygamous men to access. However, polygamy is increasingly becoming common for Muslims, and it was a known fact even in the Soviet times. Muslims form about 10 percent of the Russian population, with heavy concentrations in republics such as Chechnya, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Ingushetia and Tatarstan.


People must be allowed to choose. As a Muslim I believe it to be a human right that if a woman does not want to be single and does not have an opportunity to get married, she agrees to become a second or a third wife. The state has no right to deprive her of that. At present the state gives a woman the right to be a mistress deprived of rights. She can claim neither property nor support for her children.

Counter Claim:

Polygamy is strictly inadmissible to Orthodox Christians, but the traditional lifestyle of Russian followers of other religious beliefs should be taken into account. The practice should not be encouraged among Christians.

Facilitated by:
Improving welfare state
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions